The government this week announced that non-essential workers who can’t work from home should return to the workplace. For a lot of people, this has resulted in them experiencing mixed emotions.
On one hand you may be excited to see your colleagues and to get out of the house. On the other hand, you may feel anxious about the commute and unsettled as to what this ‘new normal’ will be like.
Whether you’re going back to work now or not for a few weeks, this feeling of uncertainty can often cause anxiety. Not just about the pandemic, but also about your capabilities.
You’ve probably not been in your usual workplace and with your colleagues for months. It’s not surprising, therefore, that you might have self-doubts about what you’ve achieved during those months or feel unsure about returning to a fast-paced stressful environment.
These ideas will ensure you go back to work with confidence:
1. Make a list of your achievements. What are the things you are proud of achieving in the last few months or in your whole career? No matter how small or how easily you delivered them, they are achievements. Push yourself to write down between 10 and 20 different accomplishments. Then keep the list somewhere you can easily access when you’re having a confidence wobble.
2. Have realistic expectations. Lots of my clients tell me how they’re going to do things differently when they get back to the office. They’re going to ensure they stick to work/life boundaries, be assertive with their boss and speak up more in meetings. They’re not going to overthink or have perfectionist standards or worry about other people judging them. But, is this realistic?
This a great time to put in place new behaviours but don’t set yourself up to fail with impossibly high expectations. I find setting a general direction of change or intention to change is not only more manageable but also kind to yourself.
3. Be open-minded. Your colleagues may have had very different experiences of lockdown to you and their idea of which rules to follow may not match yours. It’s important to be open-minded and not judge others even if it gives you a temporary “I’m right you’re wrong” buzz.
If this experience has taught us anything it’s about compassion for ourselves and others, so just be kind.
4. Imagine examples of when you were really confident in the past. What were you doing? Why was your confidence so high? How did it feel?
Recall as many details of your emotions, the situation and the exact feeling it left you with. Now you can carry that feeling everywhere with you and think of it as your inner confidence glow. When you return to work and feel nervous or uncomfortable, recall that inner glow feeling and you’ll find your confidence returning.
5. Enjoy reconnecting. After a long period without physical connection with others, being back in your workplace may feel like a breath of fresh air or you might feel uncomfortable. Rather than jumping straight back into a whirl of work, take a few moments to be present and appreciate how important being connected is to us all.
I was speaking to one of my clients this week about the uncertainty she felt. She described the way she felt as like a passenger in a car that keeps changing direction. She has no control and just keeps being thrown around. To help her we focused on what she could control and the ideas above. As a result she went back to work with confidence.
If this blog resonates with you and how you’re feeling, book a chat with me at www.speakwithjo.com and I’ll share a plan with you to boost your self-belief ready to return to work.
Stay safe and well.